Defense Attorney for Improper Storage of a Firearm Charges Massachusetts
Definitions, requirements & penalties for improper storage of a firearm, shotgun, or rifle. Know the stakes. Call (781) 797-0555 for a free telephone consultation.
Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and some of the steepest penalties to go with them. In addition to laws concerning the carrying and firing of a gun, proper storage of firearms not under the owner’s immediate control is necessary under the law. Presumably this law is to prevent tragic accidents that occur when small children gain possession of an unlocked gun. Unfortunately, law-abiding gun owners sometimes get caught up in the criminal justice system due to overzealous police, and in some cases, due to simple mistakes.
A gun includes any firearm, rifle, or shotgun as defined in Massachusetts law.
A firearm is properly stored when it is either stored in a locked container, or the gun itself has a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. A safety device is properly engaged if it prevents operation of the gun by anyone other than the owner or other lawfully authorized person.
Requirements for Conviction
In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution will attempt to prove that
- the defendant kept or stored a gun, and
- that the defendant was not carrying the gun, nor did they have immediate control over it, and
- that the gun was not secured by either being stored in a locked container or made inoperable by tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.
Penalties for improper storage of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun range depending upon whether the weapon is a large capacity weapon, and whether there is the foreseeable possibility that a minor can gain access to the weapon. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or both. A conviction will also lead to the revocation of a license to carry, so that you can no longer lawfully carry a gun.
Improper storage of a weapon
Improperly storing a gun that is not considered a large-capacity weapon can be punished by a fine of at least $1000and up to $7,500 or by up to 1 1/2 years imprisonment, or both.
If the gun meets the legal requirements to be considered a large-capacity weapon, improper storage can be punished by a fine of at least $2,000 and up to $15,000 or by at least 1 1/2 years and up to 12 years in prison, or by both.
Improper storage of a weapon where it is accessible to a minor
If the weapon is foreseeably accessible to a minor, penalties are enhanced further.
If the gun is not a large capacity weapon, improper storage can be punished by a fine of at least $2,000 and up to $15,000 or by at least 1 1/2 years and up to 12 years in prison, or by both.
If the gun is a large capacity weapon, improper storage can be punished by a fine of at least $10,000 and up to $20,000 or by imprisonment for at least 4 years and up to 15 years or by both.
A conviction of any such charges can further be used as evidence of wanton or reckless conduct if a minor gains possession of the gun and, as a result, personal injury or death occurs to any person.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect You
If you’ve been charged with improper storage of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun, know that the prosecution is already working on building their best case against you, to secure a conviction. We effectively defend against these charges. Securing your best possible outcome requires a skilled attorney with a passion for preserving rights and freedoms.
Call Simons Law Office today at (781) 797-0555 for a free phone consultation.